Su-57 on an airfield in Russia. Image via Sputnik
Russia had used its Su-57 fighter jet, currently under prototype testing, to detect US-made F-35 and F-22 stealth aircraft in Syria, a Russian lawmaker has said.
The Su-57 had been deployed for a short time in the Syrian battlefield in February this year surprising many analysts as these aircraft are still under test and have not yet entered squadron service. Now a Russian lawmaker Vladimir Gutenev, a member of State Duma's expert panel on the aviation industry had disclosed that the purpose of deploying the 4 aircraft in Syria was to "detect" advanced US planes using the Russian plane's electronics.
"The time our four Su-57 aircraft spent in Syria definitely allowed us to get additional information on this aircraft's ability to detect [using communications systems] US F-22 and F-35 aircraft which are operating in the same airspace," Gutenev stated in comments quoted by Sputnik News Tuesday.
In addition to the US F-35 and F-22, Israeli F-35s too were said to have operated over the Syrian airspace.
Russian sources have been claiming that the Su-57 is equipped with radar and electronics which can detect even stealth jets which leave a low radar signature on enemy detection systems.
CEO of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation Yuri Slyusar has earlier said the first batch of an expected 12 Su-57s could come into service in 2019.
While Russian fighters are considered more maneuverable than US-built jets, they are said to be inferior in terms of radar and electronics which enable detection of enemy targets. The Su-57 could be an attempt to bridge that gap, US observers have noted.
Ahead of the deployment of the Su-57 in Syria, Russia had set up its S-400 air defence system there to deter aircraft of foreign powers from flying over the airspace its aircraft operate in. The air defence system deployment happened after Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Su-33 bomber for what it claimed was an intrusion into Turkish airspace.